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Stranger Than Friction

Something has struck me lately — several somethings have come together in my mind that have made me feel a renewed call to “be who I am”. As it tends to happen, when I come to “decisions” like this, the world outside of my brain sends a trial. Now, I don’t know if God is the one always sending trials, or if it’s just sometimes the design of nature, but this time I do feel like Hashem has tested my metal. However, I will spare you the story because it involves too much explanation and for the most part, it’s irrelevant to the larger point.

What is the point then? Well, it’s this: for those who are happy to roll down a hill, a tree is unwelcome.

In my journey so far, no matter the lengths I’ve gone to make others feel comfortable, to prove that I am committed, to make known my intentions and reasoning behind every important thing — I’ve noticed that none of it matters if those things are different from them. Why doesn’t it matter? Because most people would rather just tuck and roll down the path someone else already cleared. After all, those who went down before them “turned out fine.” But when an individual wants to take the time and effort to grow roots, to find out who they are and build themselves according to their individual purpose, it causes friction.

And most people hate friction.

Friction challenges all of us. It tests the facade and framework of every belief — and if that crumbles, then it will test the foundation — and if that crumbles, then we are faced with our own raw selves, and if our raw selves can’t stand up to the challenge then we are often left vulnerable and exposed. Yes, friction is avoided by most people because they outsourced their “self” construction to a moderately priced subcontractor they found on Facebook.

All of that to say: If you’re a tree, grow, live, be steadfast, and ignore those who want to hate you for choosing to live the way in which you were designed. There is no sense in trying to roll down the hill with the others, anyway. The only kind of tree that successfully rolls down a hill is a dead one.

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